Functional integration of ecosystems is emerging as the path towards maximizing value creation within our increasingly digital world. To own an industry leadership position, you need to own the experience.
The more your products and services are integrated, the more money you make by offering a superior experience, and the less your competitors will be siphoning off user eyeballs, affiliate clicks, or active users. Brands typically establish barriers to exit, such as API limits or decreased data portability, but these actions lead to walled garden status, creating vulnerability to more open, extensible services.
When planning and building your ecosystem of products and services, you need to remember this principle:
aggregate or be aggregated
This concept has roots in the portal wars of the mid-1990s. During the rise of e-commerce, comparison shopping engines like MySimon and Froogle fought for attention as one-stop product information aggregators. More recently, enterprise tool providers like Syncapse and Sprinklr have been aggregating user generated content for analysis and response.
Aggregate or be aggregated. Keep this in mind as you encounter offers to publish and syndicate your content, explore new opportunities for customers/members/users, and consider how your relationship will be monetized by the company that's helping you out.